The Uncovering of the Honorable Relics of the Hierarch and Wonderworker John, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966)

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FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

The Uncovering of the Honorable Relics of the Hierarch and Wonderworker John, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966)

“The Lord keepeth all their bones, not one of them shall be broken” (Ps.33)

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

In the year 1993 from the Nativity in the Flesh of God the Word, on the feast of St. Chariton the Confessor, October 11, the All- merciful Lord revealed to us sinners the greatest mercy through the uncovering of the holy and much-healing relics of the Hierarch and Wonderworker John, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco who rests in the beautifully embellished and prayer-filled sepulchre, untouched for twenty-seven years after burial, under the Cathedral of the Most Holy Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow.

Monday was a strict fast day for all those who took part in this holy obedience to the Church. Many prepared by serving the Divine Liturgy and through Confession. In the evening, after Vespers was served at the altar of our Holy Father John of Kronstadt, Wonderworker of all Russia, in whose canonization the ever-memorable Vladyka John took part, a blessing was taken from the ruling Archbishop Anthony around eight o’clock in the evening by Priest George Kurtov, Priest Alexander Krassovsky, Protodeacon Nikolai Porshnikoff, Deacon Alexei Kotar, and Reader Vladimir Krassovsky. After the blessing these participants entered the holy sepulchre in order to make the necessary preparations which earlier had been blessed by His Grace, the ruling Archbishop. In the sepulchre the caretaker, Boris Michailovich Troyan, was already working and waiting.

A long table was prepared on which was later placed the new, temporary, pine casket. Crowbars, hammers and other instruments were brought in. All candle stands, analoys, and flowers were placed aside to make more room for the work. Candles were burning on the candle stands and the entire sepulchre was fully illumined.

After the initial preparation work was completed, and after the exclamation “Blessed is our God,” and the beginning prayers, they began to read the Gospel from St. John over the casket, In the beginning was the Word. Around nine o’clock in the evening during the reading of the Holy Gospel, the ruling bishop of Western America, Vladyka Archbishop Anthony, Archbishop Laurus of Syracuse and Holy Trinity, Bishop Kyrill of Seattle, Archpriest Stephan Pavlenko, Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, Priest Sergey Kotar, Hieromonk Peter (Loukianoff), Priest Paul Iwaszewicz and Hierodeacon Andronik (Taratuchin) arrived at the holy sepulchre. All together there were fifteen people: three hierarchs, seven priests, three deacons, one reader, and one layman.

All three bishops, as well as all the priests, read from the Holy Gospel. Around 9:07, after the Gospel readings, the bishops began to serve a full Pannykhida which was sung by the clergy. This ended around 9:45 P.M. Before the chanting of Memory Eternal the “Prayer Before the Beginning of Every Good Work” was read. Vladyka then turned to all those present with the following words, “Honored Vladykas, Fathers, and Brethren; the Lord has sent us in holy obedience to our Church in order to examine and report concerning thehonorable remains of our good instructor, Archbishop and father, Vladyka John. Let us approach this holy work with love for one another… with one mouth and one heart.” Vladyka Anthony then asked forgiveness of all present, then made a prostration, which was repeated by all with the words, “God forgive you and us. Pray for us, Holy Vladyka.” The Protodeacon then intoned “Memory Eternal.”

The new, temporary, pine casket was then brought in. The inside of the casket was lined with satin. On top of the casket was fixed a Cross. Inside the casket was placed a new, white sheet. The casket was blessed with a prayer.

All of the sacred objects and the brocade were taken off the holy sarcophagus. An explanation was made to all those present concerning the former investigation which had taken place during the night of September 17/30, the commemoration of the Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love, and Wisdom. We then proceeded to remove the cement lid from the sarcophagus which weighed around four hundred pounds. This took place during the compunctionate singing by all of the troparion, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.” The lid was taken into the corridor outside of the sepulchre. All those who had not been present at the initial investigation now saw that the mantle which covered the casket was like new.

Taking into consideration that the initial examination had shown that the casket was severely rusted, all present proceeded to tie the casket in four places because it was not known what condition the bottom was in. During the singing of the ekos “Thou alone art immortal,” the holy casket with the remains of Vladyka John was very carefully raised from out of the sarcophagus. It was initially raised higher in order to examine the underside. Then boards were placed underneath, and the casket was placed on the sarcophagus. During the examination of the casket, it was noticed that the casket had severely decomposed, and in many spots rust had eaten through. The casket which was a silver-gray color at the burial was now golden, due to the tarnished lacquer coloring. Vladyka Anthony then blessed Hieromonk Peter (Loukianoff) of Holy Trinity Monastery to open the casket. After the casket was closed at the burial, Fr. Peter had kept the key during these past years in memory of Vladyka John. After a few attempts had been made to open the lid of the casket, it became apparent that the lock had rusted through. In spite of all careful attempts the lock would not open. The lock was finally broken by the Protodeacon’s earnest prying. It was necessary to use crowbars, screwdrivers, and pliers to separate the lid. The casket began to break up and fall apart in front of our very eyes. Calling to aid the Most Holy Mother of God, we sang “We have no other help, we have no other hope but thee, O Sovereign Lady…” Finally, after approximately ten minutes of work, the lid was separated from the casket. It is difficult to describe in words that trembling state which overcame all of us. Vladyka Anthony lifted the half lid at the upper end of the coffin during the singing of, “The door of compassion open to us, O blessed Theotokos,” and the holy relics of Vladyka John were revealed to us. The most devout feeling of peace and quiet reigned. Those present clearly saw the outline of the reposed bishop’s form vested in brocade Paschal vestments which, due to dampness and humidity, had turned a greenish color. On Vladyka’s head was a white miter with hand-painted icons. Vladyka’s face was covered with a white chalice cover embellished with painted Seraphims. Under his right hand there lay a wooden staff. The remains were sprinkled with a considerable amount of earth. The author of these lines who at the time of the burial served as a staff-bearer for the ever-memorable Savva, Bishop of Edmonton, recalls that before the closing of the casket His Grace, Vladyka Savva, sprinkled earth over Vladyka John out of a rather large container. At the same time another bishop, the ever-memorable Vladyka Leonty of Chile, poured oil from the Service of Unction on the body.

The dry, incorrupt hands of Vladyka John were raised slightly in the air since the lower part of the torso had sunk in. We could see skin and nails. The prayer rope on his left hand had decayed. The wooden cross from Jerusalem on which was glued a paper icon, as well as the “Prayer of Absolution” were still preserved in Vladyka’s hands. His Cross and Panaghia also remained. A small gospel book from Kiev, bound in leather, was still intact despite the fact that the inner binding had disintegrated and fallen apart. There was another Cross in the casket by the left shoulder which fell apart when examined. A small icon of the Holy Archangel Michael (Vladyka’s patron in the world) had almost entirely disintegrated. All of these holy objects were then taken out of the casket and put aside. It was known that at the burial the material lining the inside of the casket was a light blue; now, due to mold and dampness, it had turned green.

Vladyka Anthony crossed himself and while reading aloud the fiftieth psalm, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy..,” very carefully raised the chalice cover from the face of the reposed Vladyka John. Now the most honorable face of Vladyka John was uncovered. All present felt deep devotion and total peace in their souls. No one acted surprised or expressed amazement, but with great compunction we gazed upon the incorrupt visage of the reposed Vladyka. The skin color was light, almost white. The hairs of the head and beard as well as the eyebrows were grey and preserved intact on the face. Even the eyelashes were preserved. Vladyka’s mouth was slightly open and teeth were visible. The miter and inscription were preserved, though the icon of St. John the Baptist on the left side of the miter had fallen off and was lying on the pillow. A clean aer was brought to cover the face. We then commenced to uncover the lower half of the casket which was very rusted. It was necessary again to use crowbars and screwdrivers to separate it. When it was opened all present saw that the lower part of the vestments had been fully preserved. Leather sandals were visible on Vladyka’s feet and it was noticed that on part of the left heel the bone was visible. As much of the feet as was visible were preserved, revealing darkly colored skin. It was decided that the relics could not remain in the old, disintegrating casket and that it would be necessary to place them in the newly prepared one. We began to sing the eirmosi of the Great Canon of Repentance of St. Andrew of Crete from the Service for the Burial of a Priest: “A helper and protector was He unto me for salvation…,” “Attend, O heaven, and I will speak…,” “Behold, behold, that I am God…” During the singing the holy relics were prepared for transfer to the new casket. The table with the new casket, which was next to the fresco of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, was moved closer to the head of the old casket. “On the immovable rock of Thy commandments, O Christ…” was sung while the holy relics were lifted in our hands and transferred. They were lowered into the new casket during the singing of the troparion, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.”

They were cleaned of the earth, dust and rust that had covered them. As all could see and feel, the holy relics were whole and did not fall apart. The tendons between the bones had been preserved. The relics were very light. All present saw that the vestments on the underside of the holy relics were also totally preserved. After cleaning off the dust the holy relics were placed in the new casket and wrapped in a clean sheet. During the singing of the kontakion, “My soul, my soul, arise, why steepest thou?”, the old casket was taken out of the sepulchre and placed in the neighboring room. The odor of dampness and rust disappeared and all sensed that there was no odor of corruption whatsoever around the relics. During this time the Priest Yaroslav Belikow was waiting with his two year old son not far from the sepulchre. His son Vsvelod was suffering from an illness of the kidneys and was brought into the sepulchre in order to be placed on the incorrupt hands of Vladyka John. Then all commenced to clean out the cement sarcophagus in which much rust remained. During the singing of the ninth Eirmos of the Great Canon, “A seedless conception…,” the casket with the relics was placed on the cement sarcophagus. The holy objects that were in the old casket were put in an envelope and put in the new casket. Then it was lowered into the sarcophagus and the lid was placed on the casket. Vladyka Archbishop Laurus tied a cord around the casket and Vladyka Anthony sealed it with the diocesan seal and the mantle was placed on top. During the singing of “A seedless conception” the cement lid was placed back and the sarcophagus was again covered with the brocade cover. All the other objects, the icons, ripidi, trikiri, dikiri were returned to their place. After this work a litiya for the dead was served and all were anointed with oil from the ever-burning lampada on the sarcophagus. Following the example of Patriarch Paul of Serbia, all of the clergy sang the troparion to a hierarch, “Teacher of Orthodoxy,” which the Patriarch has sung last year when he visited the cathedral. Vladyka Anthony then expressed his gratitude to all for their labor and zeal. Around 11:15 P.M. all began to return to their homes in an exalted, prayerful state of trepidation, sending up gratitude to the Lord God for the mercy, comfort, and spiritual joy which He had sent. Amen.

Wondrous is God in His saints! Holy Father John pray to God for us!

Reader Vladimir
Krassovsky

Source:

http://saintjohnwonderworker.org

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Condensed biography of Saint John Maximovitch (1896-1966) – July 2

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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Condensed biography

of Saint John Maximovitch of Shangai & San Francisco (1896-1966)

July 2

Saint John was born on 4 June 1896 in the village Adamovka in the province of Kharkov in Southern Russia. He was a descendent of the aristocratic family Maximovitch, a member of which was pronounced a saint in 1916, the hierarch John Maximovitch, Metropolitan of Tobolsk, whose incorrupt relics are in Tobolsk to this day. This holy hierarch reposed at the beginning of the 18th century but he carried the torch of his grace to his distant nephew, Michael (the baptismal name of Saint John, who later received the name of his uncle when he was tonsured a monk). His father Boris was a marshal of the nobility in a region of Kharkov and his uncle was rector at the University of Kiev. His relationship with his parents was always excellent. Throughout his youth, Michael was sickly and ate very little. He was a quiet kid, very polite and deeply religious. When he played he would dress his play soldiers as monks, collect icons and religious books and enjoyed reading about the lives of the Saints. At night he would stand praying for long periods. Because he was the eldest of five siblings, it was he who knew the lives of the Saints very well and became their first teacher of the Faith. He was very austere with himself in the application of ecclesiastic and national traditions. So much did he impress his teacher, who was a French woman and Catholic, that she was influenced by young Michael’s Christian life and was baptized Orthodox.

He had a country house near a monastery where little Michael would visit often. At the age of 11 his parents Boris and Glaphyra sent him to the Military School of Poltava where he continued to live, with his faith deeply rooted. For when kids are absent from their home for long time, their youthful souls are easily influenced. He, however, remained steadfast in his faith. There he also met the Bishop of Poltava, Theophan, a much loved hierarch, who influenced Michael. At a military parade while passing by the cathedral, little Michael (who was 13 then) crossed himself, and his classmates laughed at him and mocked him, and he was punished by his officers for the action. However Prince Constantine, who was a benefactor of the school, told them not to punish cadet Michael for with his action he showed deep and healthy religious feelings. In 1914, he completed the military school and wished to continue his studies at the Theological School of Kiev. However, his parents insisted that he go to law school and Michael obeyed them. His classmates observed that he read about the lives of the saints even more than his lessons and yet he was a good student. Time passed and he completed his studies. However, at that time the anti-Christian movement had started to spread in Russia, but Michael had deep faith inside him and he was bold. The ecclesiastic council of Kharkov was discussing whether to take down the silver bell of the church to melt it.

They all agreed to do it. Others were afraid to go against the decision and were getting ready to do this but the saint, together with a few others, disagreed and arrests started. His parents told him to leave and hide but Michael told them: “There does not exist a place where one can hide from the will of God and that without the will of God nothing happens, not even one strand of hair can fall from our heads”. So he was jailed and after a month they set him free. He was then re-arrested and after having determined that he could not care less whether he was free or jailed, they discharged him. Michael lived in a different world and yearned for God. In Continue reading “Condensed biography of Saint John Maximovitch (1896-1966) – July 2”

Love Moves: The Life of St. John the Wonderworker of San Francisco, California, USA (+1966) – July 2

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Love Moves:

The Life of St. John the Wonderworker of San Francisco, California, USA (+1966)

July 2

Holy Fathers: Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966) – July 2

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CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

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Holy Fathers:

Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966)

July 2

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ORTHODOX PHOTOS

“Holiness is not simply righteousness, for which the righteous merit the enjoyment of blessedness in the Kingdom of God, but rather such a height of righteousness that men are filled with the grace of God to the extent that it flows from them upon those who associate with them. Great is their blessedness; it proceeds from personal experience of the Glory of God. Being filled also with love for men, which proceeds from love of God, they are responsive to men’s needs, and upon their supplication they appear also as intercessors and defenders for them before God” (St. John Maximovitch)

* * *

What better description could be found to portray the essence of a man whose love for Christ drew him to such heights of spiritual perfection that he enkindled the faith of thousands from East to West? The life of St. John Maximovitch demonstrates more vividly than any words that true Christianity far exceeds the bounds of human “goodness”. Here is a shining reflection of the supernatural love of God which works miracles, a living proof that the burning faith of the early Christian saints still warms the earth at a time when the love of many has grown cold.

St. John did not isolate himself from the world, but he was not of this world. First and foremost he was a man of prayer. He completely surrendered himself to God, presenting himself as a “living sacrifice” and he became a true vessel of the Holy Spirit. His work as an apostle, missionary and miracle worker continues even now.

This saint of the latter times was born June 4, 1896 in the province of Kharkov. At baptism he was given the name Michael. As a child he was serious for his years and he later wrote: “From the first days when I began to become aware of myself, I wished to serve righteousness and truth. My parents kindled in me a striving to stand unwaveringly for the truth, and my soul was captivated by the example of those who had given their lives for it.”

Following the desire of his parents, he entered law school in Kharkov. He was a naturally gifted student but spent more time reading the Lives of Saints than attending academic lectures. “While studying the worldly sciences,” he wrote, “I went all the more deeply into the study of the science of sciences, into the study of the spiritual life.”

After the Revolution, he was evacuated together with his family to Belgrade where he entered the faculty of theology at the University. In 1926, a year after his graduation, he was tonsured a monk and given the name John, after his own distant relative, St. John of Tobolsk. In November of that same year, he was ordained hieromonk. Soon he became a teacher at the Serbian Seminary of St. John the Theologian at Bitol. More than once the bishop there, St. Nikolai Velimirovich, would say, “If you wish to see a living saint, go to Fr. John.”

Ascetic

It was his own students who first became aware of Vladika’s great feat of asceticism. At night they noticed that Vladika would stay up, making the rounds of the dormitories and praying over the sleeping students. Finally, it was discovered that he scarcely slept at all, and never in a bed, allowing himself only an hour or two each night of uncomfortable rest in a sitting position, or bent over on the floor, praying before icons. This ascetic feat he continued for the rest of his life.

At the age of 38 he was elevated to the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and was sent to Shanghai, China. There he restored Church unity, took an active interest in the religious education of youth, encouraged and participated in various charitable organizations founded an orphanage, and himself gathered sick and starving children off the streets. He always wore clothing of the cheapest Chinese fabric and often went barefoot, sometimes having given his sandals away to some poor man. Vladika celebrated Divine Liturgy and received Holy Communion daily, as he did for the rest of his life.

Wonderworker

In Shanghai it became evident that Vladika was not only a righteous man, but a true ascetic, a man of prayer and a wonderworker. Once in Shanghai Vladika John was asked to the bed of a dying child, whose case had been called hopeless by the physicians. Entering the apartment, Vladika John went straight to the room in which the sick boy lay, although no one had managed yet to show him where this was. Without examining the child. Vladika immediately fell down in front of the icon in the corner, which was very characteristic of him and prayed for a long time. Then, assuring the relatives that the child would recover, he quickly left. And in fact the child became better towards morning and he soon recovered, so that a physician was no longer needed.

Vladika loved to visit the sick and if the condition of a patient would become critical, he would go to him at any hour of the day or night to pray at his bedside. There were cases when patients would cry out to Vladika in the middle of the night from their hospital beds, and from the other end of the city Vladika would come.

Man of Prayer

With the coming of the communists, the Russians in China were forced once again to flee, most through the Philippines. At one time 5,000 of the refugees were living in an International Refugee Organization camp on the island of Tubabao, located in the path of the seasonal typhoons.

When the fear of typhoons was mentioned by one Russian to the Filipinos, they replied that there was no reason to worry, because “your holy man blesses your camp from four directions every night.” They referred to Vladika John, for no typhoon struck the island while he was there.

In trying to resettle his flock, Vladika went to Washington, and through his intervention, almost the whole camp was miraculously able to come to America – including his orphanage.

In 1951 Vladika was sent to Western Europe. Here too his reputation for holiness spread – and not only among the Orthodox. In one of the Catholic churches of Paris, a priest strove to inspire his young people with these words: “you demand proofs, you say that now there are neither miracles nor saints. Why should I give you theoretical proofs, when today there walks in the streets of Paris a saint – Saint Jean Nu-Pieds (St. John the Barefoot)”.

Finally, in 1962, Vladika was sent to San Francisco in response to the urgent request of thousands of Russians who had known him in Shanghai. The Russian community was bitterly divided over the building of a new cathedral. Vladika became embroiled in this dispute and this eventually led to his persecution. But the Truth finally won out and a measure of peace was restored, the paralysis of the community ended, and the cathedral was finished.

Alive after Death

On June 19/July 2, 1966, during a visit to Seattle with the wonderworking Kursk Icon of the Mother of God, Vladika peacefully gave his soul to the Lord Whom he had served so faithfully during his earthly life. His unembalmed body was flown to San Francisco where for six days it lay in the cathedral in an open coffin, while thousands of the faithful came to say their last farewell to the beloved archpastor. Even after the sixth day it was noticed that there was no sign of decay.

Archbishop John was laid to rest in a small basement chapel under the altar of the cathedral after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors amended the City law to permit the burial of prelates in their cathedrals. His sepulchre became a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of people in need of his strong intercession before the throne of God. The many cases of answered prayer only confirm Vladika’s words to one of his devoted servants when, after his death, he appeared to her in a dream and said: “Tell the people: although I have died, I am alive!”

On June 19/July 2, 1994 St. John Maximovitch was canonized in San Francisco and his relics rest today in the Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral for all the faithful to venerate.

 

From “St. Herman Press” (St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood)

Link: St John Wonderworker – An Orthodox Church in America

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BLACK & WHITE – ORTHODOXY

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St John Wonderworker: An Orthodox Church in America

About Our Parish

Our parish is named after a modern saint, Saint John the Wonderworker, who was known for his great love for others, especially his love for orphanedchildren. St. John’s Troparion says that he gave hope to the hopeless, and giving hope is close to the heart of our parish. All of us need the hope that can only come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through prayer and outreaches such as the Loaves and Fishes program which feeds the homeless, St. Nicholas Academy, our bookstore, our choir, and other ministries, we care for each other and the needy around us. Our parish is a loving, growing, Orthodox community where we strive together towards the greatest hope of all, heaven.

Our parish was named after St. John the Wonderworker, but has also been greatly impacted by our first priest, Father Jacob Myers who recently reposed. Under his leadership, Saint John’s has been a parish known for prayers, hospitality and ministry to others. Many converts have come into the faith and the parish continues to grow. The parish is actively involved in Pan Orthodox activities and ministries. Our parish has many converts to the faith as well as members from a variety of international backgrounds.

Saint John the Wonderworker Parish is the first church in the world named after Saint John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco. The parish is located in Atlanta, Georgia and joined the OCA as part of the Diocese of the South under Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas (now reposed) in September of 2000. Currently, we are under His Beatitude, The Most Blessed TIKHON, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada and His Eminence, The Most Reverend NIKON, Archbishop of Boston, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South.

Services are held in English. We welcome visitors to stay for lunch after liturgy on Sundays.

The offering at the Divine Liturgy is more powerful than prayer – Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco, CA, USA (+1966)

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EXPERIENCES DURING THE DIVINE LITURGY

The offering at the Divine Liturgy is more powerful than prayer

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Saint John Maximovitch

of San Francisco, CA, USA (+1966)

Then, having successfully passed through the toll-houses and bowed down before God, the soul for the course of 37 more days visits the heavenly habitations and the abysses of hell, not knowing yet where it will remain, and only on the fortieth day is its place appointed until the resurrection of the dead. Some souls find themselves (after the forty days) in a condition of foretasting eternal joy and blessedness, and others in fear of the eternal torments which will come in full after the Last Judgment. Until then changes are possible in the condition of souls, especially through offering for them the Bloodless Sacrifice (commemoration at the Divine Liturgy), and likewise by other prayers.

How important commemoration at the Divine Liturgy is may be seen in the following occurrence: Before the uncovering of the relics of St. Theodosius of Chernigov (1896), the priest-monk (the renowned Starets Alexis of Goloseyevsky Hermitage, of the Kiev-Caves Lavra, who died in 1916) who was conducting the re-vesting of the relics, becoming weary while sitting by the relics, dozed off and saw before him the Saint, who told him: “I thank you for laboring with me. I beg you also, when you will serve the Divine Liturgy, to commemorate my parents” — and he gave their names (Priest Nikita and Maria). “How can you, O Saint, ask my prayers, when you yourself stand at the heavenly Throne and grant to people God’s mercy?” the priest-monk asked. “Yes, that is true,” replied St. Theodosius, “but the offering at the Divine Liturgy is more powerful than my prayer.”

+ St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily on Life after Death

Source:

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ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

Ancient Faith Radio: Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco (+1966) – July 2

 

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Ancient Faith Radio:

Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco (+1966)

July 2

This brightly-shining Saint of our own day was born in Russia in 1896. In 1921 his family fled the Russian Revolution to Serbia, where he became a monk and was ordained a priest. From the time of his entry into monastic life he adopted a severely ascetical way of life: for the rest of his life he never slept in a bed, sleeping only briefly in a chair or prostrated before the icons. He ate one meal a day, in the evening. Teaching seminarians in Serbia, he instructed them each day to devote six hours to divine services, six hours to prayer (not including the divine services!), six hours to good works, and six hours to rest (these six hours obviously included eating and bathing as well as sleeping). Whether his seminarians followed his counsels we do not know, but he himself not only followed but exceeded them.

In 1934 he was made Bishop of Shanghai (in the Russian Church Abroad), where he served not only the Russian émigré community but a number of native Chinese Orthodox; from time to time he served the Divine Liturgy in Chinese. When the Communists took power in China, he laboured tirelessly to evacuate his flock to safety, first to the Philippines, then to various western countries including the United States. He served as Bishop in Paris and Brussels, then, in 1962 was made Archbishop of San Francisco. Throughout his life as monk and hierarch he was revered (and sometimes condemned) for his ascetical labours and unceasing intercessions. During his life and ever since, numerous miraculous healings of all manner of afflictions have been accomplished through his prayers.

Once, in Shanghai, a caretaker, investigating strange noises in the cathedral after midnight, discovered Bishop John standing in the belltower, looking down on the city and praying for the people. Years later, when he visited Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, the priest responsible for hosting him found the saint walking through the halls of the monastery, standing outside the door of each room and praying for the monk or seminarian sleeping within. When the Archbishop had prayed outside each room, he returned to the beginning of his circuit and began praying again; and so he spent the entire night

Even as Archbishop, he lived in near-absolute poverty. His appearance was striking: His cassock was made of blue Chinese “peasant cloth,” crudely decorated with crosses stitched by orphans who had been in his care in Shanghai. His Bishop’s “miter” was often a cloth cap to which he had glued paper icons. Even in the United States, even while serving the Divine Liturgy (which he did every day), he went barefoot in all seasons. (Eventually, after he was hospitalized with an infected foot, his Metropolitan ordered him to wear shoes; thereafter, he wore sandals). Needless to say, he was an embarrassment to those who like their bishops to make a more worldly appearance, but among his various flocks throughout the world, there were always those who recognized him as a Saint in his own lifetime.

Following his repose in 1966, a steady stream of healings and other miracles was accomplished through his intercessions, and in 1996 he was glorified as a Saint of the Church. His incorrupt and wonder-working relics can be venerated at his cathedral in San Francisco. At St John’s funeral, the eulogist told his mourners (and all of us): because Archbishop John was able to live the spirituality of the Orthodox Church so fully, even in modern, western, urban society, we are without excuse

Footnote: An acquaintance of Monk John once met him on a train in Serbia. When asked his destination, Monk John replied, “I’m going to straighten out a mistake. I’ve gotten a letter meant for some other John whom they intend to make a bishop.” The same person met him again on his return journey and asked if he had been able to resolve his problem. John answered, “The mistake is much worse than I thought: they did make me a bishop.”

(From Ancient Faith Radio)

Source:

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SIMPLY ORTHODOX